James Curtis Features editor Marketing

James Curtis

Features editor


Remember the anti-drink-driving campaign last Christmas? A young man out

drinking, his mates urging him to have ‘just one more’, and then a flash

forward to the same person crippled in a car accident. ‘Just one more,’

says his mother, as she spoons mush into his mouth.

The awareness generated by D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles’s ‘Dave’

campaign was huge relative to the Department of Transport’s modest

pounds 900,000 spend. Spontaneous recall in January was running at 91%

and was still at 89% six months later; not bad when you consider that

the only advertiser to beat it for recall this year was BT, with a

budget of nearly pounds 90m (Adwatch of the Year, Marketing, December


This is all a lot for DMB&B to follow. The pounds 1.2m, four-week TV,

radio and poster campaign continues the ‘Drinking and Driving Wrecks

Lives’ theme and, like ‘Dave’, goes straight for the jugular. This time

we see a young woman scarred for life in an accident caused by her


As she removes her make-up to reveal deep facial scarring, she talks

about her boyfriend, Nick, who drove her home after a night out (‘not

that he was drunk’) and about how the ensuing accident has filled him

with guilt and shattered her self-confidence.

Heavy stuff and, hopefully, a powerful deterrent to the target group of

17- to 24-year-old males. It is being shown on Friday and Saturday

evenings to catch them before they hit the pub.

The real achievement of this campaign is that it not only provides an

image that sticks in the mind but also moves the issue on.

This time we do not see a victim of his own actions, but a victim of

someone else’s stupidity. It also tries to debunk some of the peer

pressure associated with drink and young drivers. Refusing to travel

with your drunk boyfriend could save you.


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